Joe Carter

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      Hormones, Surgery, Regret: I was a Transgender Woman for 8 Years--Time I Can't Get Back: Surprising story to read in USA Today by Walt Heyer: "I lived as “Laura” for eight years, but, as I now know, transitioning doesn’t fix the underlying ailments. Studies show that most people who want to live as the opposite sex have other psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety."

2.      13 Ways We Justify, Rationalize, or Ignore Negative Feedback: One of the best articles I've read this year. Peter Bregman of Harvard Business Review says, " It doesn’t feel good to be told you missed the mark. And, since feedback often uncovers our blind spots, it’s especially jarring because, in many cases, we thought we were doing a good job. So we don’t immediately or intuitively agree with the validity of it (we tend not to believe things we can’t see ourselves)."

3.      The Danger of Drama: When we stir up drama, Heidi St. John says, we are sinning: " If you need to address something that should be handled in private, then do it privately. If you’ve been hurt, don’t put it on the internet. Season your speech with grace."

4.      Don't Put Your Hope in Date Night: Interesting perspective by Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler, "In our modern, Western, first-world culture, our margin for romantic love is a blessing. Many of us have the freedom to select a spouse who matches our preferences and makes us feel weak in the knees—particularly in those first few months of dating. This is a joy and a privilege. As those ideas carry into marriage, we tend to continue emphasizing the importance of romantic feelings. But are cultivating these feelings through date nights essential in God-honoring marriages?"

5.      Beware of Broken Wolves: I resonate with Joe Carter's advice here about protecting oneself from a certain type of leader: "But there is a particularly nasty breed that often goes unnoticed, a type that we might call the “Broken Wolf.” These are the false teachers who use their own authenticity, pain, and brokenness to attract believers who are also suffering and broken—and then using their “brokenness” to lead the sheep to turn away from God’s Word and embrace sin. They blend into the flock because Christians are not—and should not be—suspicious of broken people. They appear “in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15)."

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.     Most Americans Find Meaning in Family, Not Faith: I wrote on this topic and believe that this is a particularly entrenched issue for the American church. Helen Gibson reports, "Almost 7 in 10 Americans (69 percent) mentioned family when describing where they find a sense of meaning...[Meanwhile] 36 percent said religion provided them “a great deal” of meaning and fulfillment in the...survey."

2.     10 Critical Religious Liberty Cases coming in 2019: Joe Carter surveys the landscape of important cases forthcoming in 2019.

3.     Know That It’s Worth It: Melissa Edgington on raising true disciples, “When we pray that our children will have tender hearts toward the things of God, when we pray that they will be radically devoted to Him, we must also be prepared for what that really means. And we must remind each other, over and over again: it’s worth it. He is worth it. We can rely on Him to see our children through as they blaze a path of faithfulness through a world that has been dulled by complacency and hopelessness. This is what we have been praying for. God give us the faith and the perseverance to see it through, even when our hearts break. Following Christ isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.”

4.     Royal Museums Space Photography Competition: Amazing, amazing, amazing. A glimpse of heaven.

5.     Who Steals a Cheese Grater? Or soap? Things to ponder :).

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      The Rise in Transgenderism and Bisexuality: Joe Carter reports that, “Notice that only 6.8 percent of women identified as lesbian or bisexual, yet more than double that number had engaged in same-sex sexual contact. The phrase ‘bi-curious’ has come to be used to refer to such people who are “interested in having a same gender sexual experience without necessarily labeling their sexual orientation as bisexual.’ Social contagion is the only adequate explanation for why so many women have become bi-curious in such a short period of time.” 

2.      The Apostle Paul Was a Widower: Denny Burk explains his position, “’It is good for them to remain… as I am.’ ‘Remain” means to continue on in a certain state of existence. In their case, that state was one of widowhood. And Paul says “as I am.” This suggests that Paul is putting himself into the same category that they are. But it is not a category of singleness in general but a category of widowhood in particular. It is for this reason that many interpreters—including myself—believe that these words imply that Paul was previously married.”

3.      Old Testament Law Did Not Require a Woman to Marry Her Rapist: The idea that OT law required a woman to marry her rapist has been used often as a bully club against the ethics of the Bible. After establishing that the word should not be should not be translated ‘rape’ Katie McCoy explains the purpose of the law, “Under Hebrew law, a man was forbidden to exploit a woman as an object of pleasure. He was held accountable publicly for his indiscretion and held responsible for her future wellbeing. In other words, he couldn’t use her and lose her. Far from exploiting or oppressing women, this passage shows that biblical law held men accountable for their sexual behavior.”

4.      The Pope is Popular, But Not Impacting Roman Catholic Growth: Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra reports, “A Pew Research Center survey released today found ‘no evidence of a rise in the share of Americans who identify as Catholics [22% in 2012 vs. 20% in 2017], and no indication of a Francis-inspired resurgence in Mass attendance [41% weekly in 2012 vs. 38% weekly in 2017].’”

5.      How to Dance to Attract Girls: Rhett teaches Link how to dance in a way that attracts women based on a scientific study. Hilarity ensues.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.       Netflix Thinks You're Bored and Lonely: Trevin Wax pushes back on the way our culture thinks about boredom, "The entertainment industry expects us to see boredom as bad, which is why advertisers, sponsors, filmmakers, and game-makers collaborate to create shows, movies, and games that will capture our attention and keep us preoccupied. There’s money to be made in eliminating boredom. But is boredom always a problem, or could it be a possibility? Talk to people whose job it is to make things with their hands or create things in their head, and they’ll tell you that great things happen when your mind runs free."

2.       Ruth Graham Didn’t Waste Her Life: Dave Boehi reflects on the lessons we can learn from the beautiful marriage of Ruth and Billy Graham. He reflects on Ruth’s sacrifice, “One writer for The Washington Post wrote, ‘What a sign of those times, one might say. Or, how sad. The world will never know what else Ruth Graham … could have accomplished …’ What the world often fails to understand is that God often calls people to set aside their own plans in order to follow Him … and then He uses them in greater ways as a result.”

3.       Evidence of Evangelical Political Pragmatism: A discouraging survey I recently came across. Self-described evangelicals' position on how important a politician's morality is has shifted dramatically since the 1990s. And not in a good way.

4.       High-Stakes Leadership: This Read to Lead podcast with Constance Derickx is loaded with good stuff. Derickx definition of courageous impatience and patience particularly struck me.

5.       Why (almost) No One Wants to Host the Olympics Anymore: The 2004 games garnered 12 bids from around the world. Zeeshan Aleem reports that the next two summer and winter Olympics received a total of two bids each. Why? Former cities who hosted the Olympics are littered with unsightly abandoned facilities and a huge price tag for the honor: "Pyeongchang, South Korea, built a brand new Olympic stadium to host the Winter Games this year. The 35,000-seat stadium cost $109 million to build. And it will be used just four times before it’s demolished."